Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Joys of Technology

Last week my old laptop - affectionately refered to round these parts as Vincent - made a grinding noise and breathed its last. It was a pain rather than a problem as I am constantly backing up my files, emailing story drafts to myself and am generally rather paranoid about losing my work (- lost maybe a day's work which would be about 1,000 odd words of various things. And thankfully, Vincent chose to expire at a time when I had enough 'disposable' cash to afford a cheap-n-cheerful replacement. So on to E Bay it was.

I struggled on manfully for a few days, writing by hand and using the other computer in the house, but my productivity has slowed rather substantially due to the lack of technology.

Let joy be unbounded, however. since Vincent's replacement - Boris - arrived today (and this little piece of pointless prose is his first official act).

It did get me thinking about my own working practices. Most advice to writers tells you that you should set aside a particular portion of the day to work, sticking as closely as possible to your schedule. This is, of course, extremely good advice and something that I try to stick to (my writing hours tend to be first thing in the morning (my work schedule permitting) and, more often, quite late at night.

There are those writers who only write when the muse strikes them but I've never been able to do that, most of my writing is dragged kicking and screaming from the ether - at least initially - and only really when the process has begun (say, the first two or three pages) do I start to let the muse dictate things. By that I mean I start to wonder why the characters have found themselves in this particular situation, how they can extracate themselves from it and what might happen to complicate things.

With a computer to hand this isn't a bad way of doing things for me - I'm always moving back and forth in a story changing things to suit narrative and/or character shifts - but when the process involves constant crossing out, tiny additions in my already difficult-to-read scrawl and sometimes wholesale changes in tone and perspective, it can become a chore.

But since Boris appears to be a friendly and efficient helper I can hopefully get back up to speed in the next few days.

Ah, the joys of technology (and may all those dieties who may nor may not exist bless E-Bay where Boris was purchased at a very reasonable price).

1 comment:

  1. Sorry Vincent died and glad you have Boris. I have never thought to name my computer. I get my computers through QVC because they're always on easy over time. That makes it affordable.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author